Last night Brian and I drank Really Good Bourbon and he told me all the things wrong with my poetry. All things I needed to hear, and so nice to hear criticism from another self-taught writer. When this novel is done (less than two weeks, I swear) I am going to take some time and just focus on poetry.
I was talking to my friend Nell, one of my only friends left from high school, about how so many of my old friends have disowned me. You have to dedicate your life to this. You're not going to be the best friend all the time. With art, you can always get better, and the better you get, the more people hate you for it. Must be like being a CEO or an investment banker. You can just always make more money, and the more you make, the more jealous people get of you. The more friends you lose, till your only friends are your money and your stuff.
I say, "But shouldn't I be more successful, a better writer before people start pointing angry fingers at me in bars?"
Brian laughs like a cross between a wild dog and a foghorn. "You have to succeed surprisingly little before people start to hate you. It can be something as simple as setting personal goals and meeting them, and people want to see you hit by a bus."
Maybe the most skilled writers are left with just their talent and words at the dinner table. At least I'll always have the characters in my head.